Damning GRA taxgate allegations: Opposition Leader demands answers, Jordan mute – following Sattaur’s exposé

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(Reprinted from today’s Guyana Times)
Following the abrupt dismissal of Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Khurshid Sattaur and his bombshell revelations that there was massive corruption, nepotism, and unprofessional activities since the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government assumed office, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is demanding answers on a number of issues surrounding the controversy.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Jagdeo defended Sattaur’s integrity, noting that he has always discharged his duties in a professional manner.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

“This Commissioner-General has been there for many years; as far as I am aware, he has discharged his responsibilities in a professional manner: you’ve never heard about any Opposition member in the many years under the PPP [People’s Progressive Party]. It’s a rare thing to hear about an Opposition member complaining about being targeted by their taxes or anything of that sort, so the discharge, in my view, of his responsibilities has been very professional,” Jagdeo said.
The former President, turning his attention to the recent exposé by Sattaur, noted the number of illegalities the former Commissioner General was asked to engage in after the coalition took power in May 2015.
“We have heard the Commissioner-General said in his statement that 1) ‘I was asked to rehire people who are corrupt or who had been fired for corruption.’ Has the media core in Guyana asked the Minister of Finance or the Chairman of the Board of GRA or the Acting Commissioner General who, if they have rehired anyone who was fired in the past? Has the media core investigated where any of those people have been fired for corruption?” Jagdeo asked.

Former GRA Head, Khurshid Sattaur
Former GRA Head, Khurshid Sattaur

The Opposition leader said he was in possession of information regarding persons who the Auditor General recommended be dismissed from the GRA, who have since been rehired.
Jagdeo also took a swipe at sections of the media which he said failed to call out the Government on its promises of transparency and accountability.
“Here is this pure Government, the transparent Government getting away with what I think is murder and it’s easy to verify whether the Commissioner General is telling the truth. It’s easy: ask the people involved and then you can ask him. He said, ‘I have been asked to settle tax matters that will cost billions of dollars’, now it’s clear the Commissioner General has the sole authority to settle tax matters, the Minister of Finance, the Ministry of the Presidency, none of them can tell him how to settle a tax matter yet here is the Commissioner saying ‘I have been prevailed upon. I’ve been urged to settle tax matters and I have the list of people that where I was asked about this to settle their matters.’”
Jagdeo questioned whether this was followed up, noting that the media seemed not to be interested in the potential billions of dollars of revenue that were lost.
“Isn’t this contrary to good governance: interference in the tax authorities of our country?” Jagdeo questioned.
He reminded of Sattaur’s revelations about the photocopying of files of top Government officials, and being asked to promote people who were not qualified among other issues.
“I think these things when there are these charges by a technical officer who’s a professional person, not by the politicians, not by the Minister ‘cause they have a political motive, then not just the media…but the international community must have a look into this matter and I do hope that this happens because this is ominous for the future of Guyana. It’s an ominous thing if the tax authorities of our country can’t manage in a professional manner. That is something that is extremely worrying and I do hope that the international community including those who have solicited to help to draft laws [take note],” Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader said his party intends to engage the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to examine the track record of the APNU/AFC since it took office just over eight months ago.
Jagdeo believes that the dismissal of Sattaur was all part of the Government’s witch-hunt against the PPP and those who seemed to be aligned to the Party.
Meanwhile, when questioned by Guyana Times on the issue, Finance Minister Winston Jordon did not answer but rather ignored the question.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Sweetie Cake you are a darn racist but very soon you will the the white mouth on your ppl stretch from ear to ear like in the kabaka days –we indians will have to rescue them once again so shut you trap all you do is use the race card.

  2. Sweetie your govt is better…they are thieving the ligitimate way ( write off tax and take kick backs)….and publish it in the papers….check transparency index u will see the effects there…

  3. jagdoe need to recap on the famous officer he had instructed be re hired, his school student from East coast who was recommended Dismissed for Fraud and the list goes on , to include the patrol Officer (his questionable associate )
    who was charged for gun posession in customs house

  4. which one of the government minister come up with a plan to move forward guyana non so far only 50% in their pocket that`s their plan and only have and this year a next 50%in their hand

  5. SWEETIECAKE U R A RACIEST BECAUSE JAGDEO IS TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT SATTAUR. I KNOW THIS GENTLEMAN…HE IS THE BEST THING GRA EVER HAD IN THE HISTORY OF GUYANA. SO SWEETIECAKE, SHUT THE S****UP AND LET’S GET WHAT THEY PROMISED – LEAN AND CLEAN GOVT. THE ABC COUNTRIES SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS…THEY ARE QUIET AS A LAMB. LONG LIVE BHARRAT JAGDEO. HE IS THE CHAMPION AND HE ALONE CAN DEBATE
    THE ENTIRE GOVT. AS FOR JORDON, JAGDEO CAN TIE HIM AROUND HIS PINKIE FINGER WHERE KNOWLEDGE IS CONCERN…

  6. Mr. Jagdeo, you have proven to be a Great Liar. You became so obsessed with power that you manipulated the PPP to do what you wanted. How can we trust you or anything you say. You became a man without a heart. You allowed your own people to be treated in the most inhumane way….You should shut up. Tell Mr. Sattar to stop his madness. Have you and your group ever considered to give back to us some of your ‘illegal’ wealth so that my grandparents, parents and us can enjoy a little better life. Will you give us a tenth of your pension.

    Let the government do their job and allow the chips to fall where they should.
    To Mr. Sattar, you are trying to separate the Coalition, but it will not work.
    Both of you should make it right with Lord Brahma.

  7. How can Guyana move forward and hold the government of the day accountable if these questions are not answered?

  8. agree with you sweetie cake, he needs to shut the hell up. I wonder why Guyana tolerated this man for all those years

  9. look I think this guy as the front man for thee PPP lack all authority to ask these troubling question but these are legitimate accusation and he is not wrong with the media giving these troubling breach of law a free pass remember everything always start small and then evolved ,,,, as for Mr Rmajatthan you are trouble about the photocopying of your taxes boy I wonder where this guys got his intelligence this is your partners in government storing shit on you to keep you in line as for the other one they was never afraid of him they know they can keep him under control because of his power hunger you will not hear a peep from him of the consolidation of power under the ministry of the president but you is the wild card :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  10. The devil always try to pretend that he is a saint or an angel of hope. The truth is he is the worst of demons and his deeds are proof of that. Jagdeo! look into the mirror and you will see him.

  11. Jagdeo just shut the……up. Yes in your view he was whatever, your view is only corrupt. So go play some other joke. Sick of you.

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